Today I’d like to introduce you to an amazing fiber artist, designer, and fellow Island Batik Ambassador, Pam Geisel.
My name is Pam Geisel from For Quilts Sake and I just finished my 500th quilt! It’s called “She Paints With Fabric” because that’s how I explain to people how I make my art. (It’s made with Island Batik’s Sea Salt Sandy fabrics, by the way.)
I made my first quilt in 2001. I had taken shop class in Junior High so I wouldn’t have to learn how to sew, but I’ve always loved fabric and quilts so I decided to take a class on hand piecing and quilting at a local quilt shop. I really loved the result but boy did it take a long time to complete! I realized that if I used the sewing machine I’d just have to use it to sew forwards and backwards, I wasn’t attaching shirt sleeves or zippers.
I’ve taken a few workshops on quilting techniques since them but I’m mostly self-taught, although I still have no idea how to attach a shirt sleeve or a zipper!
I primarily consider myself an art quilt. Like most art quilters, I started making traditional quilts. One of the things that I really enjoy about traditional quilts is the secondary patterns that emerge when quilt blocks are put together. I’m also intrigued by how the look of a pattern can changed if you use different colors in different locations.
I belong to several quilt guilds. It was with the Miami Valley Art Quilt Network where I really delved into art quilting. We created a monthly study group and were working through the exercises in the book “Art Quilt Workbook" by Jane Davila and Elin Waterston. I created my first series, the Feather Series then.
Around this time I started working with fusible adhesives for fabrics. I know it’s possible to piece curves and also applique curved shapes with a needle-turn technique, but I wasn’t interested in doing either of those. But once I realized I could raw edge applique curved shapes, creating got much freer for me, and I was able to create more realistic landscape quilts.
I enjoy participating in challenges. I was in an on-line quilting group with Kim Lapacek of Persimon Dreams started “Project Quilting” back in 2010. She enjoyed the show “Project Runway” and wanted to have quilt challenges that had to be completed in one week, although no one would be asked to leave.
Because of my schedule at the time I wasn’t able to participate as a contestant the first year, but I did participate as a judge that year. I’ve participated every year since then and was even the Grand Prize Winner in 2011 (they only did official judging the first two years).
“Early Morning Nine Patch” was one of the challenge pieces that I made for Project Quilting in 2012. I went on to win Best of Show in “The View,” a juried landscape competition (for all media and not just fiber) at the Rosewood Art Centre Gallery in Dayton, Ohio. It’s one of my favorite quilts that I’ve ever made and I even had notecards printed with it on them.
I’ve been entering my quilts in quilting competitions and also art shows with other media. I’ve gotten rejected from several, but I’ve been fortunate to have some included in national fiber exhibits in Oberlin, OH, Paducah, KY, and at the American Quilter’s Society’s Quilt Week in Landcaster, PA where I got an honorable mention for my quilt “Lavender Diamonds” which is a traditional partial Broken Star design (similar to a Lone Star) but mine is made in a non-traditional way by fusing fabric instead of piecing.
I also do a lot of custom quilts, including memory quilts that use items provided by the customer such as t-shirts and other clothing, a wedding dress, and neckties. These projects are always interesting because the items have such a personal meaning to the customer. Many times these items are a gift to another family member and I’m honored to be a part of making an heirloom that will be cherished for years to come. This one was made with ribbons won in horse competitions.
One of the most unusual pieces I’ve made was for an exhibit at the Dayton Art Institute called “Inside the Box.” Selected artists were provided a wooden box and asked to create something inside it (and outside it within reason). I created “Inside of a Dog” based on the Groucho Marx quote “Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.” I’ve never created a doll or a dog’s heads, legs, and tail before. It seemed like I spent as much time thinking about how I was going to create it and the steps involved as I did creating it.
A big thanks to Carol for inviting me to be a guest blogger. If you want to know more about any of the projects I’ve mentioned, you can find them on my blog: For Quilts Sake.
I’d like to offer a set of note cards that are professionally printed of my quilts. I have six different sets available, four that have six different images and two that just have the one image. You can check out the different options in my Etsy shop here.
♥THANK YOU♥ Pam for sharing your wonderful quilts and story with us today. Congratulations on quilt #500!!! Now I’m curious and will have to try to figure out what number I’m on. LOL.
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